Cameroon deploys troops to the restive Anglophone regions before general elections

A senior army officer on Tuesday said security forces have been deployed to Cameroon restive Anglophone regions to ensure security

before the country’s general elections scheduled for February.

He said the troops were deployed in Cameroon’s two troubled English-speaking regions of Northwest and Southwest.

Legion Commander, Colonel Henry Nchinda, told reporters in Buea, the chief town of Southwest, that the security forces would be

deployed to all parts of the regions to ensure hitch-free elections.

He was speaking after a contingent of 350 gendarmes arrived in Southwest. “These elements are here to do everything so that the

elections will be held in safe conditions.’’

The parliamentary and municipal elections will take place in Cameroon on Feb. 9 amid threats by separatists.

On Friday, separatist leaders said they would be imposing a six-day lockdown from Feb. 7 to 12 in the regions in a bid to stop the elections

from taking place.

Fighting between government forces and armed separatist groups has been going on since 2017 after the separatists declared the

independence of a nation called `Ambazonia’ in the two English-speaking regions.

About the Anglophone Crisis

The Anglophone Crisis (French: Crise anglophone), also known as the Ambazonia War, or the Cameroonian Civil War, is a conflict in

the Southern Cameroons region of Cameroon, part of the long-standing Anglophone problem. In September 2017, separatists in the

Anglophone territories of Northwest Region and Southwest Region (collectively known as  Southern Cameroons) declared the

independence of Ambazonia and began fighting against the Government of Cameroon. Starting as a low-scale insurgency, the conflict

spread to most parts of the Anglophone regions within a year. As of the summer of 2019, the government controls the major cities and

parts of the countryside, while the separatists hold parts of the countryside and regularly appear in the major cities.

The war has killed approximately 3,000 people and forced more than half a million people to flee their homes. Although 2019 has seen

the first known instance of dialogue between Cameroon and the separatists, as well as a state-organized national dialogue and the

granting of special status to the Anglophone regions, the war continued to escalate in late 2019.